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bobcatnj
04-29-2005, 07:15 PM
when you charge for paver install. say you charge 15 per sqft and the total sq ft is 523. do you charge 7845.00 plus materials or is that the total????

cgland
04-29-2005, 10:35 PM
You shouldn't charge by the square foot, because every job is different! Add your materials plus a markup %, rentals, overhead, labor burden, profit and FIGURE IT OUT! Only YOU know what to charge on a job. How do we know how you come up with your numbers? :angry:

Chris

steve in Pa.
04-30-2005, 07:31 PM
you nailed it on the head cgland, never charge by the sq. ft. As charles vander koii says you don't sell the pavers, your selling production hours!!! How many hours and how much money is that job going to cost your company!

etwman
06-26-2005, 09:02 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb here and do a post that may cause a little controversy but I think it's for the best. This is mainly directed to the guys that are debating this industry. You are at a fork in the road and you need to make some key decisions. Chris and Steve I trust you'll agree with this.

1. If you are debating heading into hardscaping don't quote the project cheap, have no idea what your doing, and end up leaving the customer reaping the results of a poor installation. Something that may help: Educate yourselves. There are tons of ways on doing this. ICPI is a great resource and well worth the small membership fee for thier advice. Attend Paver and hardscape expos. MAHTS in atlantic city is a great one. If your out in left field on how long it will take you to do an install, put your own patio in and log your hours. Go find a family member and tell them you'll do it at cost plus 20% becaus your want to learn but don't make a good, unknown, well paying customer your first job.

2. Get serious about it. A good hardscape rig, with all the right equipment, may set you back $100,000 and that's not even all new equipment. The saws, tampers, skid loaders, bigger trucks, lasers, Pave-tech tools, etc. I laugh at it at times but there's very few tools in this industry that'll cost you less than $1000. If you find yourself still renting after a year your probably your either not too serious about it or something is not working right. If your quality is up, your pricing is right, that rig should easily pay for itself in a year. Buy your supplies in bulk and save some money. We buy flex edge at 10,000 feet at a shot, you'd be amazed at the savings.

3. Get yourself a well trained good hardscape foreman and crew. A good hardscape foreman will cost you $50,000+ a year, period end of sentence. Once you have them take good care of them and they'll stay. Everyone talks about high turnover, I've had one guy leave in 5 years. Get a good crew and don't break them up, they'll become more efficient with each job.

4. Get a digital camera. We take about 100 shots on each project and have two huge 3 ring binders of probably 100 hardscape jobs. This in itself should sell any project your going after.

5. Educate the customer. We'll ask a new customer if they have ever had any hardscaping done before. If they haven't they need to realize that it is expensive and why it's expensive. Few patios anymore are less than $10,000, and please I can't say it enough don't ever quote on square foot. I will tell you your labor rate shouldn't be less than $55/hour and I'm serious about that. We've had patios go 40-90k, its no different than an addition to a house in my opinion. And you, the guys who do it on a regular basis, would agree.

6. Don't cut corners. For the love of all that is holy and wise don't cut corners. Use the right base, the right compaction techniques, sand, drainage, pitch etc. You cut corners and get a failed wall or patio, you have a mad customer, a deliquent payment, and if you have a persistant customer you'll end up in court. Then if it couldn't get worse you probably didn't charge the right amount for the project and you don't have a pot to pee in once settlement comes full tilt. I've heard the stories in meetings with EP Henry reps and I can honestly say we've never been there and Lord willing never will. When we stamp a project with a 5 year warranty it because it was done and done right.

You can do well in this industry if you do it right. For those looking to get into it I suggest if you follow some of the points above you'll be headed into the right direction. This is not a go out and "weed someone's beds" avenue. Do your homework first.

Good luck.

Picman
06-27-2005, 01:29 PM
By going to one of those expos u will learn enough to be able to do a small job? I live in Central Jersey and I'm tryin to learn this trade. If anyone has any information on a job doing this work, school teaching this, or good show related to hardscaping please let me know.

Thanks

etwman
06-28-2005, 07:40 PM
I'd start with looking into ICPI.org. The best show is probably in Atlantic City in February through EPHenry. You could probably find a link to the show from their website in a couple of months. I know ICPI offers courses throughout the summer ...check their website.

steve in Pa.
06-30-2005, 12:04 AM
mahts is the one you want to go too. learn all day and gamble all night!lol. we have went the past two years to mahts and they do put on a good show. I agree your 1st step should get icpi certified.